Friday, March 27, 2009

Max the Murderous: a poem adaptation

I mentioned in an earlier post that I liked William Blake and Robin came up with a poem adaptation in honor of Maxie the Murderous:

Max The Murderous, burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

In what distant deeps or skies
Burnt the fire of thine eyes?
On what wings dare he aspire?
What the hand dare seize the fire?

And what shoulder and what art
Could twist the sinews of thy heart?
And when thy heart began to beat,
What dread hand and what dread feet?

What the hammer? what the chain?
In what furnace was thy brain?
What the anvil? What dread grasp
Dare its deadly terrors clasp?

When the stars threw down their spears,
And water'd heaven with their tears,
Did He smile His work to see?
Did He who made the lamb make thee?

Max The Murderous, burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?

(adapted by Robin Edgar)

Thanks, Robin. Max thanks you as well. When we went out this morning to get the paper, Max was hesitant and when I got out there, I saw why: two deer were lingering in the yard. But your poem reminds him that his fearful symmetry is more threatening than theirs, though they do have those sharp hooves. He wisely disappeared into the bushes. I love the Blake line "did He who make the lamb make thee?" Only in Max's case, it would be "did He who make the mole rat make thee?", as that's more the sort of creatures that end up dismembered on the deck.


Robin Edgar said...

I'm glad to see that you liked my plagU*Urism of William Blake's poem 'The Tyger'. I dare say that my old friend William Blake and I did a bang up job of affirming and promoting the inherent worth and dignity of Max The Murderous Ms. Kitty! ;-)

ms. kitty said...

Yes, indeed, you did, Robin. Many thanks!

Robin Edgar said...

You're most welcome Ms. Kitty,

Needless to say that allegedly "hostile" and "crazy" British mystic and poet William Blake deserves the proverbial lion's share of the credit for that plagU*Urized poem of course.

LinguistFriend said...

That is an intriguing piece of work, Robin. I had thought of the poem as a statement of the problem of theodicy, but you could go on to
Blake's sources such as Swedenborg and Jakob Boehme. Somewhere I have a collection of poems by a classics professor who did something similar for the full range of Greek philosophers, drawing on his expertise with a light hand in readable original poems. Maybe you could start with Servetus.

Robin Edgar said...

I always took this poem pretty much at face value LF. To me it is about tigers, even tiger mini-mes like Max The Murderous, and what kind of God created them. I hope that God doesn't get *too* pissed of when we human beings Its creation the tiger extinct. . .

Robin Edgar said...

Needless to say the word "make" should have been written between "we human beings" and "Its". Personally I can't imagine that the "Immortal Hand" or "Eye" who framed the fearful symmetry of the tiger is all that amused with the fact that there are only a few thousand of these "big cats" left on this planet. . .